November, 2013

A Few Good Reasons To Use Eco-Friendly Products For A Greener Home

A Few Good Reasons To Use Eco-Friendly Products For A Greener Home

Creating a green eco-friendly home is actually a lot easier than what a lot of us may think. Many people are discouraged by thinking that it requires a lot of efforts, time and money to switch to eco-friendly products; but actually, working towards an eco-friendly home is not that difficult.

For any good or service that you buy today from the market, you will find that there is an eco-friendly alternative also found. You can also cut back on your household waste by using less disposable stuff and using more reusable material, like using reusable spoons instead of using disposable plastic spoons. There is an impact on the environment for every little small thing that we do in our daily life,  and if we shift towards eco-friendly products, we can contribute to saving our environment and work towards sustainability.

eco-friendly

What is the meaning of Eco-friendly product?

The word eco-friendly means products that do not harm the earth or environment. These products, also called sustainable products, provide benefits for the people economically, socially, environmentally, while preserving the public health.  These products are environmentally safe from its extraction of raw materials to production, consumption and disposal.

Why switch to eco-friendly products?

eco-friendly products

Swapping to environmentally safe, green products in really simple for any individual who wishes to contribute to the sustainability of environment and do their share of the sustainability of the environment.  By using more environmentally safe products, we reduce pollution and contamination of the natural resources such as the air, water, and soil.

 

Below are a few tips for using more eco-friendly products

House warming

eco-friendlyUsing wood logs instead of electricity or natural gas is the greenest way to keep your house warm. The burning wood emits environmentally safe carbon dioxide, which is equal to the oxygen the  plant produce and converts to oxygen, so it doesn’t really leave any carbon foot prints. To install a log burner in our home, you need a place where you can set it up with a chimney attached to it.

House cleaning products

The conventional cleaning products in the market contain several toxic chemicals and may be harmful for the environment. Even though they make our house grime free and sparkling clean, they release harmful compounds and solvents into the atmosphere whenever they are used, and therefore, they are not good for your health. A normal household use a wide variety of product containing harmful toxic chemicals, such as furniture cleaners and polishes, air fresheners, glass andeco-friendly cleaning tile cleaners, toilet cleaners, detergent, dishwashers, carpet cleaners, soap and the list goes on and on. The green thing to do for our house is to switch form products that contain harmful chemicals such as Phthalates, Perchloroethylene/PERC, Ammonia, Chlorine, and any other products that state “Warning Danger Caution, or Poison ” on them to products that contain natural ingredients such as Baking soda, Beeswax, Vinegar, Olive Oil, and products labeled “no phosphates or solvents.” There are a number of cleaning products available in the market today labeled eco-friendly.

Buy organic food

organic productsBuying food grown in organic methods can help you improve your physical and mental conditions, as well as help the environment. Eating organic food whenever you can has many health benefits as well.

Use energy efficient appliances and products

By switching to appliances with energy star label on them will ensure that they are most energy efficient and meets the federal standards. Using energy efficient light bulbs instead of conventional light bulbs will also help you to increase environmental sustainability and save you on electricity bills.

There are many other ways through which you can do your bit of saving the environment and work towards a greener home. Little things like taking the bus to work, turning off lights and appliances when not in use or recycling your paper, glass and metals, can all add up and have a big impact on the nature. With all these little contributions towards reducing our carbon footprints and environmental health, it can really have a big impact on the future generation for a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

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Reducing Our Environmental Footprint For Better Sustainability

Reducing Our Environmental Footprint For Better Sustainability

We, as human beings are keeping our carbon footprints on the environment with everything that we do in our everyday life. The things that we use in our daily life require some sort of energy source. The gadgets, equipments and machinery we use are all run by a power source usually coming from the electric supply, gas, diesel or propane, or some other sort of fossil which emits carbon dioxide when burnt. We are also using up all the natural resources.  Everything we do on the planet that involves energy consumption or pollution may have a negative impact on the plane.

What is environmental footprint?

environmental footprintBy environmental footprint, we refer to the measurement of our demands on the earth’s eco-system. It measures our demands on the natural capital of the planet. Everything that we do, such as the resources that we use, the waste that we throw away, the goods and services that we buy, the energy we use, and so on, has an impact on the environment.

It is important that we learn to manage our environmental impacts and our consumption of natural resources to minimize environmental footprint. There are ways through which we can lessen our impact on the planet. Little changes in our daily activities, such as using less energy, driving smaller cars, driving less, using eco-friendly products etc. can reduce our carbon emission and everyday carbon production to shrink our environmental footprint.

Tips to reduce the environmental footprint

To reduce our carbon footprint, we can very easily make minor changes in our daily activities. We are able to make these changes very easily that collectively has a long term dramatic effect on the environment to reduce carbon emission and carbon use. Reducing energy consumption and using reusable energy sources are two main keys to reducing carbon emission, and creating a sustainable environment for the future generation.

1.     Saving energy saves money

Heating and cooling bills are a major portion of our home utility expenses and can cost a lot of money to a household if the house is not insulated well enough. Therefore, insulating the houses better can improve the home’s energy efficiency and save a good amount of money on heating and cooling bills throughout the year. When you insulate the house, make sure you have no open area on your walls, attic or basement through which heat cool air can escape. Replace your doors and windows with energy efficient and well insulated windows and doors, and seal around the doors and windows. When buying insulation, check the R value of the product. The higher the R value, the better insulation it will provide.

2.     Install energy efficient appliances

energy saving appliancesIf your home has a lot of old appliances or fittings, you can reduce energy bills and increase efficiency of your homes by replacing your old appliances with energy efficient ones. Simple tasks like changing your showers with energy efficient shower heads, insulating your water heater and pipes, and changing filters on your air cooler and furnace can reduce a significant amount of energy bill. Have your heating and cooling systems inspected every year with a professional to check for possible leakages or malfunctions. You can save energy by installing programmable thermostats and energy saving light bulbs as well. Install the appliances with energy star models that exceed the federal standards for energy consumption.

3.     Turn off electrical equipments when not in use

You can save a considerable amount of money on energy bills simply by turning off your lights and air conditioner when you leave the room or house. Equipments like computers, monitors and printers still draw power when they are turned off.  Using a surge protector and switching it off when you are not working can save you on electricity bills and save energy.

4.     Grow your own food

By growing food in your own home garden instead of buying from the local grocery stores not only provides you with a supply of freshly grown, great tasting food, but also reduces the carbon emission that is used in the transportation of food.

5.  Use transportation efficiently

public transportTry using the public transportation while going to school or office. Also carpooling and using bicycles can be a good alternative if you live in the close proximity. Buying a more fuel efficient car can also help reducing carbon emissions.

6.     Recycle

Use products that are made from recycled materials. By recycling glass and paper, you minimize the mining of the products. It is also good to reduce throwing away your waste and recycle your garden compost as fertilizers.

Take action now

By making these small changes around the house and using more recycled products and reusable energy sources, we can minimize our daily carbon use and reduce our environmental footprints. We should act now and work together for a cleaner and more sustainable environment for our next generations.

 

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Ideas For Living Off The Grid – The Benefits And Concerns

Ideas For Living Off The Grid – The Benefits And Concerns

I read about this man recently, who didn’t own a computer, didn’t want to buy one either, he lost his cell phone and the only form of entertainment for him was watching CNN and MTV. He enjoyed watching the local TV channels too, although he didn’t understand a word the local TV channels said in Chinese. And yet, he managed to stay connected with everyone with the use of computers. Yes, he didn’t own one, but he went down to the public library and used it by the hour.

It might sound like a crazy idea to live off the grid, but according to many, it has its excitements and benefits. Some people are even enjoying the idea of living off the grid because it brings them closer to nature. Thanks to modern mobile technology and internet, people can now live off the grid while still staying connected.

It is now not uncommon to find people who have lived off the grid through the summer, and enjoyed it so much that they decided to extend their stay till fall as well. How is it so enjoyable? Besides, we are so adapted to living with modern gadgets and appliances that we cannot imagine our lives without them. Just imagine if you didn’t have power for couple of hours in your house?

So, what exactly is living off the grid anyway?

off the gridFor those who are wondering what exactly living off the grid is, the definition of living off the grid would be to stay disconnected from the main local or national electrical grid.  In some cases, an off-grid power source or SHS can be added or a mini grid, that could provide power for a community as an alternative to the main national grid. An off-grid power supply can be beneficial for countries or regions which have power shortages or which are located away from the main community. This can happen when a country has distant or scattered population with limited access to the main grid.

Living off the grid could mean living self sufficiently without depending on the public utilities in any form. So, if someone is truly living in an off the grid house, he or she has no reliance on the public utilities like electrical power supply, municipal services, water supply, natural gas, or any such public facilities. This might remind us of living before the industrial revolution time, but this is how a true off the grid house should run. However, we should not assume that an off grid house will not utilize any of the modern facilities. It may and will, but they will not be from the national grid or local public services.

Living off the grid is not as crazy as it sounds

living off teh grid 2Living off the grid refers to living in an independent, self sufficient house that is able to operate without the help or reliance of public services, and produces everything it needs. This idea is becoming increasingly popular today through the recent TV reality shows and celebrity appearances on cooking channels and home and gardening channel stars.

Stars like the survival expert Cody Lundin have promoted living off the grid by building houses based on these principals in the middle of the desert with solar panels providing power supply, using rain water for water and composting waste.

Setting up your own off the grid house

off the gridRecently one family was found living off the grid in West Virginia. They bought a property to live and hunt, and eventually retire. But the piece of property was so far away from the national grid that they discovered that they needed $70,000 to bring power from the electric company. As an alternative, they began to develop alternate sources of energy for their property. Today, there home is powered totally by the solar panels. This family in West Virginia is not the only family living off the grid. They are among 750,000 other families living off the grid nationwide.

 

Setting up your own off the grid power source

With the economic growth come the challenges of accessing the national grid that comes with the emerging nations. Many of the houses built before the 1800s, that has old wiring and electrical systems cannot meet today’s electrical standards and demands for power consumption. Many of the developing countries are facing the shortages of power supply and have to rely on ancient methods for electricity; at best they use car batteries for energy.

Here in America, there are many people, who use off-grid energy source because some of the people want to stay truly independent of public utility services. There are also people who want to save on energy bills by setting up their own renewable energy generators.

solar panelsTo setup your own power generator and storage units from reusable energy sources, you can have your basement filled with car batteries and recharge those using solar panels or wind powered turbines. The power from the car batteries can then be converted into AC electricity and fed to the house wiring for running normal appliances, light bulbs, and everything else.

 

Where to get solar panels and inverters

You will find many companies manufacturing and distributing solar panels, solar inverters  and everything else you need to set up your solar power generator at home.  We have listed the top 3 sites selling solar panels at affordable prices.

  1. Affordable-solar.com They are one of the oldest retailers of solar panels and accessories with a wide range of different brand to choose form.
  2. Free Sun Power.com This site has all the information you need to set up your solar power generator.
  3. Wholesale Solar.com You will be able to get all relevant information, as well as compare several brands of solar inverters from this site.

You can also look in eBay and Amazon, or your local Home Depot for several types of solar panels and inverters.

Environmental issues and concerns

off the grid livingMany people have found that generating their own form of energy might be cheaper than paying for the utilities, and therefore they choose to produce their own forms of power and other utilities. Although they might be saving money by not paying any utility bills, there are a few safety issues also involved.

Several states, including the state of California, are encouraging people who are using sources such as the wind or the solar cells for power generation to limit their use of toxic storage, lead and acid bases batteries and connect to national grid for safety purposes. Although these off grid houses produce their own power source during the day time, they use lead and acid based batteries to store power for the night.

environmental professionals networkYou might be able to save a lot of money to live in a house made with ancient technique that doesn’t use any utilities, and eat barbeque everyday through brick ovens, and cook on coal, and keep the house warm through fire wood. However, it is important not to harm the nature in the process. According to Jeremy Rifkin,, a famous economist, we are on the verge of a third industrial revolution, and this time, it will be of a sustainable good quality life. “He said the US was a pioneer in the first half of the third industrial revolution – the Internet.”

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The Significance Of Environmental Businesses In World Economy Today

The Significance Of Environmental Businesses In World Economy Today

Go Green, organic, and some other similar terms such as Eco-friendly products, environmentally safe, products, reusable energy and so on are being focused on news media and globally aware networks on the World Wide Web. It has also been concluded by many environmental scientists that this new environmentally aware generation will have the greatest impact on the environment in the next 100 years or so.

It is important that we address all the current issues concerning the environment and become aware how we can contribute towards building an environmentally safer and sustainable environment through our everyday regular activities. The global crisis that the world is facing cannot be ignored. There is need for growing more food for the planet through sustainable farming methods. It is also vital to find clean reusable source of energy to conserve the nature and fossils for our future generations.

EPN green energy

Environmental business, also referred to as “Green Business” is becoming one of the major concerns of businesses around the world today. It is gaining importance because most companies, including financial institutions, lending agencies, farmers, and other government and non government agencies around the world today are more concerned about sustainability of environment than ever before.

What is Environmental Business?

computer chipThere are many large businesses that already practice the green policy. Because of the growing awareness among common people and also the government agencies, it has become essential for all businesses to adopt policies and practices that contribute to the environmental hazards the least. They also thrive to improve the quality of the environment and lives for their clients.

Several organizations have come together and defined the meaning of a green company and what their standards should be. The companies IBM, BT Group, National Australian Bank, Marks & Spencer Group and so on has been ranked among the top ten global green companies, according to a survey done by Newsweek in 2012.

Why is important to go green?

eco-friendly

As the world population increases, so does the demand for clean and reusable resources we have limited resources and fossils to supply us with energy and raw materials for production. As we use up these fossils and resources, we are going to face shortage of resources in a very short time.

The responsibility lies on every individual to preserve nature as well as the resources to work towards a sustainable environment. The environmental businesses therefore will be making every effort to preserve the environment.

What are green practices as producers?

As producers, the efforts for the factory owners should be to minimize practices that impact the local or global environment negatively. It also includes the practices for the economic and social well being. The businesses having a progressive policies towards the human rights and the environment is also said to be a sustainable businesses. A sustainable business must meet the below criteria.

  • The company replaces environmentally unsafe or non-Eco friendly products with sustainable and environmentally safe products in the market, reducing the demand for environmentally unsafe products or services.
  • Each of its business decision must incorporate sustainability.
  • It has shown commitment to comply with all environmentally safe practices and principals in its business processes.
  • Its policies are greener than the traditional companies.

So generally any company or organization can fall into a green business category if it practices environmentally safe operations and sustainable business policy to address the current environmental safety issues.

Green practices as consumers

EPN environmental businessAs censurers, we can help the green business by switching to environmentally safe products. For every category of products or services manufactured in conventional way, there are products and services available from the environmental business that can meet the demands of the customers.  Purchasing Eco-friendly products can be helpful in addressing the current global issues and environmental concerns.

The relationship between economy and environmental issues are inevitable. In the least, we should try our best to lower the pollution in the atmosphere. In using Eco-friendly products and purchasing form environmentally safe business we can encourage more and businesses to enter the green movement and work towards a more sustainable environment.

The globe has become a smaller place now, and almost everything we do has a global impact.  In the last few decades the world population has been increasing rapidly and therefore, every consumable resource is being used up very rapidly as well. The factors that aggravate the negative impact on the environment and threaten the general health of the world are also increasing. There are serious issues like climatic changes, ozone layer depletion, global warming, sea level rise and many other similar global issues that are becoming major concerns for every environmentally conscious citizen of the world today.

 

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Basics Of Growing Sweet Corn In Your Backyard Or Small Garden

Basics Of Growing Sweet Corn In Your Backyard Or Small Garden

Sweet corn is a vegetable that everyone loves. You can eat sweet corn in variety of ways. It can be eaten right off the plants. You can also prepare several food items with them including corn soup, and in combination of other vegetables such as beans or sweet peas. Sweet corn is a good source of rich carbs, vitamins and minerals and when eaten with peas or beans, which are rich in amino acids, it makes a great balanced meal, rich in proteins carbs, vitamins and minarals. It can also be added to salads, pasta or rice or beef stews to make a delicious meal.

Sweet corn is usually a summer time crop and needs plenty of sunshine to grow. The plants are also tall and might not be suitable for indoor gardening or backyard greenhouse gardening if you try to grow the traditional sweet corn. There are however certain kinds of sweet corn that can be grown in a green house in your backyard for your backyard garden, and the crops will be sweeter than any corn you will buy at the supermarket.

corn plantationIf you have a sunny plot in your backyard, you may try to grow Sweet Symphony, Kandy Korn Silver or Queen in your backyard.  If you want to grow them indoors, you need to keep them under a bright lamp where they receive plenty of heat. It is also important to have good flow of air because the corn plants pollinate through wind.

Planting Sweet Corns

To grow corn in your backyard, you need to prepare the soil with good supply of manure and compost. Spring is the best season for planting seeds. If you prepare the soil in fall, let the winter pass and plant the seeds after the last week of spring. The corn plants need plenty of heat and sunshine to grow. Make sure the ground temperature stays high. If necessary cover the ground with plastic, and punch holes in them to plant seeds. Seeds should be planted in blocks, 9-12 inches apart, and 1 inch deep. Keep the rows at least 3 feet apart and instead of making two long rows, make four shorter rows to help pollination.  You may apply fertilizers at the time of planting the seeds and the plants would grow rapidly. You also need to water the seeds regularly.

corn plant

Care for the plants

Corn plants needs to be weeded regularly. Attention should be given to the roots of the plants while taking the weeds out of the rows. Soils also need a regular supply of water and drained properly. The soil needs about 5 gallons of water per square yard. Cover the ground with mulch to prevent evaporation.

 

Harvesting

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The crops are ready for harvesting when the tassels turn chocolate brown. Test for ripeness by squeezing the grain with your fingers. You should be able to tell whether they are ready for picking. If the grains are watery and squirt liquid when you squeeze them, they are not ripe. The cobs are ready for picking when they are creamy, and if they are paste like, they are over ripe. Twist the ripe cobs and take off the ears from the stem. Cook them rapidly because the sugar turns to starch very rapidly after they are picked, and so they may lose flavor.

Cooking tips

Corn can be added to any spicy food or too hot food to make them sweet and balance the hot spicy food with sweetness of corn. You can make hot salsa, summer corn cakes, or corn soup at home.

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